Join us on 14 October at the event on  AFib-related and CVD-related stroke

Join us on 14 October at the event on  AFib-related and CVD-related stroke

Building resilience against future health crises 

SAFE Director, Arlene Wilkie contributes to a critical thinking article for Friends of Europe which highlights the cardiovascular disease (CVD) community, including stroke patients, has been disproportionately impacted throughout the COVID-19 crisis. 

Read the full article here 

Join us on 14 October where Arlene will be speaking at the event on  AFib-Related and CVD-Related Stroke: Public Policy Recommendations for a Changing Environment at 3pm CEST, 14 October.

To register, go to 


  • Birgit Beger, CEO, European Heart Network 
    Dr Michael Brainin, Past President, World Stroke Organization 
    Dr Valeria Caso, Stroke Neurologist & Associate Professor, University of Perugia Stroke Unit 
    Trudie Lobban, Founder & CEO, Atrial Fibrillation Association 
    Andrea Vassalotti, Director of Partnerships and Programmes, World Heart Federation 
    Arlene Wilkie, Director General, Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) 
    Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament (EPP, FI)

  • Moderated by Brian Maguire 

5 ways you can support the #Precioustime campaign this World Stroke Day

5 ways you can support the #Precioustime campaign this World Stroke Day

World Stroke Day is just two weeks away and WSO has been working hard to make sure that all of our members, stakeholders and supporters have the resources they need to activate the campaign in their community. Here are five key actions you can take to support the global campaign and drive home the message that when it comes to stroke minutes can save lives.

1 Use the toolkit

The World Stroke Day campaign toolkit has now been fully translated and ‘off the shelf resources’ including stroke symptom animations in Arabic, Chinese, English, Hindi, French, German, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Russian and Spanish (European and Latin American) are available to support your campaign activation and engagement.

From e-mail signature footers, social media profile images, to stroke symptom animations for Instagram, these are great resources that can be used to share the global message while highlighting key issues in your community.  Please be sure to use the #Precioustime (or the translation provided in the toolkit) so we can monitor, spot, share and reflect your contribution in our World Stroke Day impact report.

2 Share the campaign video

The World Stroke Day video ‘Minutes save lives’ premiered on our social channels on Friday 1st Oct.  As well as beautiful images and a strong emotional narrative, the video incorporates an animation graphic  highlighting key stroke symptoms translated into campaign languages, You can find this content in our members Dropbox translated closed captions can be selected by users for spoken text. Video content is the most successful format for social media, we would encourage all of our members and stakeholders to share the campaign videos through your networks and share on your social media channels around World Stroke Day. Other ‘offline’ video sharing ideas include streaming the video onto public screens in hospitals, community venues, bus and railways stations, shopping and community centres.

3 Put your activity on the map

Our Global Map of Action shares details of the activities and events that our partners and the stroke community are planning to raise awareness of stroke on and around October 29th. Make sure you your register your action – no matter how big or small. This is an important measure for us in terms of campaign community engagement and helps us to show a world united and determined to tackle stroke.

4 Prepare and share a personal message

Personal messages on corporate and individual social media channels are a great way to help broaden the reach and raise awareness. We have created a simple to use, interactive social media and poster building tool on our website to help you prepare a World Stroke Day message. The tool supports messages in Arabic, Chinese, English, Hindi, French, German, Portuguese Russian or Spanish.

5 Light it up in blue

To highlight the importance of #Precioustime when it comes to stroke, a number of our members will be lighting up landmark clocks in indigo blue – the agreed awareness colour for stroke. Let us know if you have managed to achieve this in your community and be sure to share photos with the campaign hashtag.

One more day to go!

One more day to go!

Our Life after stroke webinar – Caring for the caregiver – is tomorrow (29 September)!

We are hoping you will join us tomorrow along with Jana Dobrkovská from stroke support organisation Cerebrum in the Czech Republic, Professor Carlo Semenza (Italy) and Dr Carla Pereira (Portugal) to discuss the importance of looking after those who are the caregivers of stroke survivors.

You can find out more about the programme at here

Book your free place at here

European organisations join forces to shine spotlight on cardiovascular health

European organisations join forces to shine spotlight on cardiovascular health

European organisations join forces to shine spotlight on cardiovascular health

Today, SAFE joins the European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health calling for European action on CVD including stroke.

Grethe Lunde, stroke survivor, says

“When I was 22 years old, I had a stroke. That was 27 years ago. I know the devastating impact a stroke has not only on the stroke survivor but also on friends and family.

Stroke is the second leading cause of death and the biggest cause of adult disability in Europe. Sadly, despite these facts, stroke is often overlooked and underfunded.”

Arlene Wilkie, SAFE Director General,  says

“Together under the umbrella of the European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health, we will have a bigger, stronger, united voice which will help raise the profile and shine a spotlight on stroke and ensure that every life saved is a live worth living.”

The full press release is here:

European organisations join forces to shine spotlight on cardiovascular health

Topics: Cardiovascular prevention, policy, research, innovation, patients with cardiovascular disease

Embargo: 27 September 2021 at 07:00 CEST

Brussels, 27 September 2021: The European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health1 launches today to raise awareness of the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and call for action from European decision-makers.

The announcement comes ahead of World Heart Day on 29 September.

CVD is a group of conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels – they prominently include heart attacks and strokes, as well as arrhythmias and congenital heart disease. CVD is closely interlinked with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes or kidney disease, but also vascular dementia which is often caused by heart disease and stroke.

CVD is the leading cause of death worldwide. In 2019, an estimated 17.9 million people died from CVD, representing 32% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke2. CVD is also the leading cause of death in the European region, accounting for 47% of all deaths in women and 39% in men3.

In the EU, CVD accounts for 36% of all deaths and impacts the lives of some 60 million people who live with cardiovascular conditions. CVD is not limited to the elderly, but heavily impacts people of all ages. Around 20% of all premature deaths (before the age of 65) in the EU are caused by CVD4.

To ensure that Europe’s strategy for tackling CVD matches the scale of this collective challenge, the Alliance brings together, for the first time ever, 15 leading European and international organisations representing the full range of health actors. Together they offer an extraordinary wealth of knowledge in cardiovascular health.

Collectively, the Alliance represents:

· tens of millions of patients.

· more than 200,000 health professionals.

· over 400 health technology companies.

· health insurers covering the medical costs of more than 200 million people.

· millions of people living with genetic CVD risk factors but who have not been diagnosed yet.

The Alliance’s partners are committed to joining forces and sharing expertise to:

· raise awareness of the burden of CVD on society.

· call for a European CVD Plan to improve cardiovascular health, optimise quality of life in patients and undiagnosed citizens with CVD, and prevent first and subsequent heart events and strokes.

· advise policymakers on actions to improve cardiovascular health and to prevent CVD in Europe, thereby making the population more resilient to future pandemics and other health threats.

· mobilise investment for CVD research and promote public-private partnerships in CVD innovation.

· ensure swift and equitable access to new medical technologies and medicines that add value to patients and society.

In its first meeting today, information on the European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health is complemented by personal stories from patients about living with heart disease and stroke, giving insights into the needs of those with CVD and thus setting the European policy agenda. Policy debates follow, with EU decision-makers giving feedback on the Alliance’s proposals and paving the way for a constructive and forward-looking collaboration.


Jouzas Olekas, MEP Heart Group Supporter said: “The EU must act decisively to improve the cardiovascular health of European citizens and to create a strong as well as holistic European Health Union. Now is the time to tackle the increasing burden of cardiovascular disease and ensure that everyone can live longer, healthier lives – regardless of where they were born or live – and continue to contribute to society.”




Note to the editor:

For press queries, please contact the European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health Secretariat:

1 2 World Health Organization Fact Sheets: 3 ESC Cardiovascular Realities 2020 4 ESC-EHN, Fighting Cardiovascular Disease: a blueprint for EU action:

Caring for the caregiver webinar: final programme announced

Caring for the caregiver webinar: final programme announced

We are delighted to let you know that Jana Dobrkovská from stroke support organisation Cerebrum in the Czech Republic is our final speaker, joining Professor Carlo Semenza (Italy) and Dr Carla Pereira (Portugal) for our next Life After Stroke webinar on Caring for the Caregiver on Wednesday 29 September.

Book your free place here

And find out more about the programme here


Launch of the European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health

Launch of the European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health

Organised by the European Heart Network and the European Society of Cardiologists – register for the webinar for free via this link.

If COVID-19 has learnt one lesson, is that there is an urgent need for more EU coordination on health. Diseases – whether they are infectious or not – do not stop at borders. Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death in Europe, and impact 60 million people every year.

Cardiovascular diseases will directly or indirectly impact all of us at some point in our lives. Impacting people of all ages, the diseases are not always preventable, as many conditions can be inherited, caused by other chronic conditions or their treatments, or others incur due to ageing. To improve the health and quality of life of people affected by these diseases, there is a need for more. More research, more investments, more innovation, more policy.

It’s time for the EU and Member States to act.

Join the founding organisations of the European Alliance for Cardiovascular Health, representatives of the European Commission, Member States and European Parliament for a virtual policy debate that will mark the launch of the Alliance and discuss policy actions to improve cardiovascular care for citizens across the EU.

Speakers and panellists

  • Ms Tatjana Kirchner, Germany
  • Ms Grethe Lunde, Norway
  • Professor Stephan Achenbach, President of the European Society of Cardiology
  • Bernt Bieber, President of COCIR
  • Arlene Wilkie, Director General of Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE)
  • Neil Johnson, Executive Director of Global Heart Hub
  • Janneke van der Kamp, Cardiovascular Network, EFPIA
  • Floris Italianer, President of the European Heart Network
  • Jean-Luc Lemercier, Chair of the Cardiovascular Sector Group, MedTech Europe
  • Marius Geanta, Board member, FH Europe
  • Directorate, Slovenian Ministry of Health, Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council
  • Pierre Delsaux, Deputy Director General, DG Sante European Commission
  • MEP Juozas Olekas, Former Lithuanian Health Minister, Supporter of the European Parliament (MEP) Heart Group